India's central bank has kept interest rates unchanged, saying a reduction would be "premature".

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate - the rate at which it lends to commercial banks - would remain at a steep 8.0%, in line with analysts' expectations.

But it indicated that rates could fall early next year as inflation begins to slide.

Business leaders and finance minister Arun Jaitley, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's right-wing government, have been clamouring for a cut in borrowing costs, which they say deter investment and consumer spending.

"A change in the monetary policy stance at the current juncture is premature," the bank said in a statement.

"However, if the current inflation momentum and changes in inflationary expectations continue, and fiscal developments are encouraging, a change in the monetary policy stance is likely early next year."